It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Kaitlin Olson, who is currently expecting her first child with costar Rob McElenney, can’t wait to meet her baby boy later this month. In honour of World Breastfeeding Week, the 34-year-old actress – who is planning a home birth with the help of a doula – recently chatted with Best for Babes about her pregnancy, her desire for a natural birth experience and her goal of breastfeeding her son.
“I’ve actually had a delightfully easy pregnancy,” says the soon-to-be mom. “I was lucky enough to not have any morning sickness, I worked all through my second trimester and half of my third with lots of energy, and I’m just now (at 9 months) starting to feel like I need to slow down and rest a little more.”
Kaitlin, who has decided to welcome her baby boy in the comforts of her own home just as her own mother welcomed her, says she is “incredibly grateful to have access to Western medicine” but “[doesn’t] think that childbirth is a medical problem that needs intervention unless there is a complication”:
I decided on a home birth because I believe that as long as a pregnancy is normal and complication-free, your body knows what to do and does not need medical intervention. I think the key to having a baby naturally is being able to completely relax and get out of the way of your body’s ability to get the job done.
She admits, however, that her decision to give birth at home has come with “a lot of mixed reactions”.
“Most of our friends have been very supportive because they know us well enough to know that we are the kind of people who do our research and make informed decisions,” she explains. “The people who panic and think we are crazy are the ones who haven’t done any research themselves.”
“I don’t blame them though,” she adds. “We aren’t really taught much about childbirth and labor in America. On TV and in movies, most of what you see on the subject are women screaming in pain and a lot of emergency c-sections. The fact of the matter is that countries whose standard is for women to deliver their babies at home with midwives have the lowest complication, intervention and infant fatality rates.”
As far as pain relief tactics, Kaitlin has been “practicing hypno-birthing for several months now”: “It’s basically training yourself to completely relax on command, allowing your uterus to do its job without tensing up in reaction to the pain, which just slows everything down. It also really focuses on eliminating fear, and I’m learning a lot about the correlation between fear and pain. When you’re scared, you tense up. That’s no good.”
“Instead of being afraid of powerful contractions, I’m trying to focus on being grateful for them, because it means the baby is closer to being born. I also am using a doula who will be there to remind me of all of these things when I forget because I am in horrible pain,” she adds with a smile.
Kaitlin also spoke about her desire to breastfeed: “Yes, I’m definitely planning to breastfeed! I just simply think that breast milk is the very best food for a baby. It’s also free. And takes no preparation or heating up.”
When asked how she plans to combat any breastfeeding issues, should they arise, she responded with confidence: “You know, I’m just not really entertaining the option of a backup plan. I have lots of people in my life who have done this before to support me and really wonderful, knowledgeable professionals I can go to which makes me feel confident.”
“Mostly at this stage when I start to have doubts, the best thing I can do is remind myself that my body was built to do this, and if I run into trouble I have a lot of options.”
Kaitlin and Rob, who were married in Calif. on September 27, 2008, announced the pregnancy in March.